Take Life One Sip At A Time

As of late, I have found myself over analyzing everything. From my health, to my family and friends, to everything that life has been hauling towards me. I decided that it was time for me to gather a few of my girls together and have a GNO. It was something that I have been needing mentally for a while. It seems that sometimes all we need is someone to sit down next to you, and listen as you pour your heart out. Someone to just gather what you have been feeling, and take away, if only an ounce of your problems.

I wanted to find a place where we could all sit and be able to talk, in an intimate setting where there was no chaos, only solitude surrounding us. Adding a glass or two of wine would be a perk to the evening. So without even questioning it I knew the perfect place to where I could catch up with the girls, and ease my heart from the stress of the past weeks.

As soon as I walked into The Carriage I was blown away with the assortments of the wine displayed around me. I took in the vibe of the place, and had a feeling of modern day -old world, with the dark undertones with pops of color throughout. There was soft music playing overhead and I was instantly in love with the space. The feeling of calmness surrounded me as I made my way straight to the bar where I was greeted by two individuals, who not only greeted me with a smile, but welcomed me straight away to a glass of House Cabernet (The way to my heart). The appreciation i had for them was instantaneous. They had no clue of the past few weeks I have had, but still made an effort to make me feel home and welcomed to the establishment.

I sat quietly towards the back, as I waited for the others to arrive. While sipping on my glass of wine I decided to pass time by catching up on some emails. I stopped for a moment and realized just how much I needed this place. A few hours dressed up, with my wine glass in hand, and a few minutes of quiet peace. Which in turn got me thinking of just how much the past few months have been weighing heavy on me.

How is it that I have allowed so many emotions to go unoticed to so many? I have been open to those who are closest to me about the fear of my remission coming to an end, but how is it that I expect others to understand what I feel inside without the words coming from my mouth? I am a VERY private person when it comes to my homelife, but this fear within me is something that so many others have as well. I had realized sitting in silence, surrounded by no one, that there was a possibility that in the near future I would have to tell everyone that I was preparing myself for a diagnosis, that had once placed fear writhing in my mind, body, and soul.

I sat in slilence, thinking of the gentlness I had to be with myself, and the understanding in knowing that I was more in control this time than last time. Last time I was blindsided by the diagnosis of Follicular Carcinoma a form of Thyroid cancer. It was so unexpected that I had zero time to understand what was happening around me. I honestly just had a goiter, that was all it had been. I underwent the biopsy to learn that it was benign, I did the labs, I took the time to understand that surgery was optional, but went with my gut and ultimately made the desicion to have my thyroid removed. A decision that SAVED MY LIFE!

I followed all the rules and still recieved a phone call telling me that I did in fact have cancer. This snowballed into months of chaos. My mind was strong as my body struggled through, joint pain, memory loss, and one of the most awful side effects…. TIREDNESS. A tiredness that I cannot ever explain plagued my body until I was begging for someone to help me. I was in a state that I never want to be in again… I was vulnerable. This time though I was more in control. In fact I am prepared.

I have sought out the future, doing everything within my power to be ahead of the diagnosis, which God willing may never come. I am surrounding myself with those I love and attempting to stray away from negative energy. I am filling my body with positivity, and self-love. I am simply being gentle with myself at this time. I am a firm believer that healing starts within. it is something that this go around I am adament about.

I didn’t realize just how much I needed a night out. The crazy thing is that I found more within myself in thirty minutes of silence than I did the rest of the night. I always seem to find myself thanking God for taking the time to help me understand that all my emotions are valid. It is easy to panic in times where we know things are tilting, but keeping ourselves in check is a strength that may not be seen outwards, but can be felt within. I felt a piece of my soul shift into a knowing peace, as I saw the first of many start to come in.

I spent the next hour catching up on things happening and felt the positive energy flowing around me. While my mind was still reeling with the fact that the future holds two paths

1. my remission stays in tact

2. I will be planning to kick cancer again

Either way it was ok to feel as if I needed something in this moment. I needed to feel as though someone would listen, I needed to feel as if I was surrounded with love, I needed to feel as if those I love cared. And I knew that it was ok to feel this way. I am allowed to feel so strongly, as everyone is, illness or not.

So as I gave Salute to those sitting with me, I also gave a Salute to myself. For I am the one who knows the emotions within my mind, I am the one who knows the pain in the process, and I also know the feelings of watching my husband and kids, seeing me in this state. I pray for healing, I pray for guidance, and I pray that my journey helps those who are experiencing the same feelings as I am.

I found myself in the most unhurried place, and spent the remainder of the evening listening, laughing, and enjoying a great glass of wine. I put the doubts away, and focused on allowing myself a moment of certainty that every thing I come up against, will only lead me to seeing things in a new light. Just like sitting in a blue velvet chair, led me to understand that I may be scared, but there is strength unlike any other in a person who has the ability to create love from a vulnerable state of mind.

Salute My Friends

Make sure to visit The Carriage at both locations listed below.

121 E Mobile St. Florence, AL 35630 (256)-810-3752

320 N Montgomery Ave. Sheffield, AL 35660 (256)-627-9067

Website and Events: http://www.carriagewine.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/the_carriage

Facebook: http://www.facebook.cm/TheCarriage

Author: Mary Swinney

Growing up in the Tri-Cities the love I had for the area tilted more towards how Id love to leave, rather than to see what the area had to offer. I didn't want to see at the time just how enchanting my hometown was. As soon as the chance arose my family and I made our way to Rhode Island. Once there we made some amazing life long friends, who took us in, and showed us just how proud they were of their state. It may be the smallest of all the states, but it was packed with charm and adventure. Each week we were visiting new restraunts, meeting new people, and visiting so many areas that I had only dreamed of. The residents were so proud of what they all had built together that it made me realize just how much I had missed out on back home. I have always been proud of my Southern Roots and I vowed that if God ever brought me back to my hometown I would make it my mission to explore the best it had to offer. I have been back for two years and have fallen in love with so many places. It is my mission now to bring my small town back to life and spread the word on how charming the Tri-Cities truly is.

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